If you look from a recruiter’s point of view, he needs three types of skills.
Subject Matter Knowledge and Expertise.
An MBA is hired because he has had training in various disciplines and therefore has the ability to look at the big picture and understand the impact of a decision on all the disciplines. While a salesman may focus on the revenue generation and client acquisition, an MBA in Sales would also look at the cost of the sale and maybe the sales process efficiency.
There is a difference between knowledge and expertise. Reading from books and listening to lectures may increase knowledge, but expertise comes from practice. Obviously, a recruiter would pay more for expertise.
During the interview, it is difficult for the recruiter to judge this and typically, given the shortage of time, the subject matter expertise is assumed.
This is probably the most important attitude that a manager wants in a subordinate. If he orders the MBA to jump, he expects the MBA to responds with, “How High?” He does not expect the MBA to whine about how his muscles ache from the last jump, why he is not motivated, why other persons around him are not jumping or maybe a response like “Maybe, later, when I am in the mood.” Even worse, the MBA may say, “Sure!” and never do the jump or do it half-heartedly.
Ability to rebound and retain balance.
There will always be adversity and rejection. Everything cannot go as planned because you cannot predict the reaction of all persons impacted by an action. A desirable MBA is one who can shrug off these adverse situations, learn from them, regain his emotional and mental balance and soldier on.
Willingness to learn and change.
As said earlier, changes happen all the time. A good MBA is open to change and handles the change. This allows him to survive and be effective.
The recruiter uses his interview time to determine these skills. These are very desirable in a subordinate and an employee. The student’s communication, body language and responses to cases during the interview will show the recruiter these abilities.
Interpersonal, teambuilding and presentations skills.
These skills are self-explanatory. If the MBA cannot forge relationships in all directions, upwards, downwards, and sideways; within the organisation and outside it, he will not be able to get things done.
Another aspect of these skills is the ability to present ideas. Depending on the audience, the method of presentation needs to change. MBAs must have the skills and the experience to do this.
The third aspect of these skills is the ability to work in teams.
– Excerpt from the book “MBA Blues”